Research suggests that 77% of parents in Romania have heard of HPV, and 73% of them know that HPV vaccination helps prevent certain types of cancer. These data reflect a higher level of awareness of Romanian parents about HPV, compared to the average among the states participating in the study: 73% of parents in several European countries have heard of HPV and only 58% of all respondents have knowledge related to the prevention of certain types of cancer through vaccination.

The results of the study were presented today in an online conference, which was also attended by Dr. Xavier Bosch, from the Catalan Institute of Oncology in Barcelona.

He recalled that in Europe, there are 80,000 cases of cancer caused by HPV infection each year, calling the burden of the virus “a silent epidemic”.

Most parents know that HPV infection can cause cancer

In Romania, 3 out of 4 parents are aware that HPV vaccination can prevent certain types of cancer, according to research.

An online questionnaire was completed by 7,111 parents with at least one child under the age of 21 and a decision-making role on vaccinating their child. The sample also included 388 parents from Romania.

The good news is that most of the parents interviewed: (83% of those in Romania) know that the HPV virus can cause cancer and only 7% of them deny the causal link between this virus and cancer, says the IPSOS study.

Three out of five (63%) believe that they have a good or very good degree of information about HPV infection.

84% of parents surveyed believe that HPV infection can be prevented for both girls and boys.

The study also investigated the impact of the pandemic on the attitude of Romanian parents regarding routine pediatric vaccinations.

As a result of the pandemic, 91% of parents in the study said they were more willing to ask the doctor proactively about vaccines that could protect their children from other diseases than COVID-19.

At the same time, 85% say they feel more informed about vaccinating their child as a result of the pandemic and 87% are more willing to vaccinate their child for other conditions than COVID-19.

More than half (55%) of parents say they have already vaccinated their children or are about to do so. Photo: 123rf

What parents in the 8 European countries say, according to the study

Data from the 8 European countries included in the study say that more more than a quarter (27%) of parents are unaware of the danger of HPV, despite the fact that the majority of the sexually active population will be infected with some form of HPV at some point in their lifetime.

Regarding the causal link between HPV and cancer, 79% of parents who knew about HPV said they were aware that HPV can also cause certain types of cancer.

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However, the percentage of those who knew that HPV could cause cancer in both men and women is much lower – only 33%.

Romania has the highest incidence and highest mortality rate from cervical cancer in the European Union

The incidence of cervical cancer is 2.5 times higher in our country than the EU-27 average, and the mortality rate – over 4 times higher.

Every year, almost 3,400 women in Romania are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 1,805 women lose their lives due to this disease.

In Romania, vaccination against HPV infections is included in the National Vaccination Program, being free for girls in the 11-18 age group. The vaccination is performed by the family doctor, at the request of the parents.

The vaccination schedule for young women up to the age of 15 involves the administration of two doses of vaccine over a period of 6-12 months. Girls over the age of 15 need three doses of vaccine, given within a maximum of one year.

Photo: 123rf

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